Mulitplex shareholders suffer the aftermath of the sniper threat and reporters lie in wait for John Prescott at his £5,000-a-night hotel in France.
The extortion attempt launched against Multiplex adds a sinister dimension to the profile of the contractor in the business pages of the Observer. It details the inter-continental operation to heightened security for employees, but says that although the threat may have been a hoax, the negative impact on Multiplex’s share price has been huge.
Elsewhere in the Observer, there is speculation that the slowing in the housing market could lead to take-overs in the housebuilding industry, with the possibility of Persimmon buying Taylor Woodrow cited as a likely example.
This weekend’s Sunday Times reports on the struggle people face if they aspire to build one-off homes in the British Countryside. Four architects tell of the tortuous processes they went through to obtain consent to create a single, modern dwelling in rural Britain when housing estates seem to crop up without a flutter of resistance. In another article the Times extols the virtues of glass flooring, but suggests readers may have to have something fairly spectacular below – like a private swimming pool – to make it worthwhile.
Meanwhile the Business turns its attentions to a Council of Mortgage Lenders survey that shows a fall in new lending in the second half of 2004, caused by a slowing in the buy-to-let market. The CML expects to see slower, but continuing, market growth.
It’s not often that anything football-related gets undersold, but an investigation by the Sunday Mirror reckons that’s just what happened at Elland Road. The Leeds United ground, independently valued at £20 million, was, according to the paper’s sleuths, sold for just £8 million to Jacob Adler, a Manchester property developer. The company now pays Adler’s property company £1 million a year to lease the ground.
Finally, the Mail on Sunday has taken a trip to the Riviera to check out the hotel where John Prescott was scheduled to check in – the Carlton, at £5000 a night – this weekend. The deputy prime minister, in France for the property convention MIPIM, mysteriously failed to book in to his sumptuous suite after the Mail reporters lay in wait at the legendary hotel to ask him to justify his choice of accommodation, which has in the past been popular with Uma Thurman, Sean Connery and Elton John.